{How to} Rag Rug Wreath

wreath featured image TEXT

We need to thank the early 1900s for this nifty, thrifty craft! The best fabrics to use are woollen or jersey weight fabrics but you can use whatever you like, just keep in mind that the thicker your fabric the tuftier your rug.

A quick note about fancy pants crafting gadgets that you dont really need. You dont need a rugging tool, also (and brilliantly) known as a bodger, to make a rag rug. You can use a crochet hook, and if you don’t have one of those you could use a chopstick to push the strip through the hessian. What? Not even a chopstick? Try the end of a thinnish pencil. You dont need a rotary cutter and metal ruler to cut your strips of cloth, scissors work just fine, but gadgets make these jobs much quicker. If you like the look of rugging and think you might like to do more then you can invest in a bodger if you wish. Ok, enough with the gadgets, moving on…

red wreath strips

You will need:

  • Two identical cardboard rings (the size you want your wreath to be)
  • Pen
  • Fabric scraps, plus an extra piece to cover the back of your wreath
  • Hessian
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Crochect hook/ rugging tool
  • glue
  • string or ribbon for hanging

Step one. Cut strips of fabric 1 inch wide and 4 inches long from your fabric.

Step two. Draw around your cardboard rings onto you hessian but don’t cut them out yet!

draw around template

Step three. You can start anywhere you like inside the rings you have drawn on your hessian. Crochet hook users – Push your crochet hook into a space in the weave, fold a strip of fabric in half, grab the middle of the loop with your hook and draw it back through the fabric, then pull HALF of the strip through so it looks like the red tufts in the photo below. Bodger botherers – The same technique really but you dont need to fold your strip you can just grab the end with your bodger and pull the strip through instead.Tuft one done! Skip 3 of 4 threads, push your hook through and repeat. Keep going until your wreath has reached your ideal festively fluffy fullness.

Step four. Leaving a wide margin of at least an inch, more if the size of your cardboard backing will allow, cut around the outer circle of the ring you drew on your hessian. Cut tabs around the outside edge. For the hole in the middle of the wreath, cut tabs (like the segments of a chocolate orange) from the middle of the hole back to the inner edge of the wreath.

tabs red wreath

Step five. Apply fabric glue to the back of the hessian and one of the cardboard rings and allow it to become tacky before carfeully sticking your newly tufted wreath to the cardboard backing making sure that you’ve lined up the edges as best you can. Fold the tabs to the back of the cardboard ring.

hanging loop

Step six. Cut a piece of fabric at least an inch wider than your remaining cardboard ring. Cut tabs into this piece of fabric in the same way you did to your hessain. Glue the fabric to the second ring, folding the tabs over to the back to create a clean edge.

Once both halves have dried, glue a loop of ribbon to one of the rings so that you can hang your finished wreath. I also added a string of red sequins to my green wreath at this stage to add a splash of colour and sparkle.

Finally stick the two rings together, hang you wreath up, stand back and admire your handy work!

These wreaths are so easy to make and have a neat, professional looking finish, and because they are so easy to personalise they make fantastic gifts too.

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The Cornershop. Lucy Sparrow

The lucky residents of Bethnal Green are about to have a wonderful new cornershop open up on a busy street corner. But this isn’t yet another Tesco’s Metro, although it looks just as well stocked – everything on sale in this shop has been handmade, by Lucy, out of felt. The project has been 7 months in the making and throws open its doors to the public today at 6pm.

To see Lucy Sparrow’s Cornershop blog click here.

This is exactly what a rainy day like today calls for, I could spend hours scrutinizing the photos, writing a mental shopping list of things to fill my cupboards with from this crafty corner shop. But not only is Lucy’s imaginative, immersive installation open for business daily until the end of the month, it will also be host to 12 workshops aimed at bringing together various local groups. In her blog Lucy tells us that the workshops will provide an opportunity for a shared making experience and discussion around the steady disappearance of cornershops all over the country.

I was interested to read that Lucy had secured part of her funding using Kickstarter. Now, I know I have spoken to a couple of people about Kickstarter recently, I have totally forgotten who exactly but you know who you are! The link to her Kickstarter proposal is here.

The time for fundraising is over now, but it is still an interesting read and explains a lot about her motivation for starting the project in the first place.

If you haven’t heard of Kickstarter then today is a good time to have a look at that too.There are loads of innovative people out there who would be doing such interesting things if only they had a bit of cash to help them get started. As you will see Lucy Sparrow far exceeded her £2,000 target, as did the guy looking for $10 to make a potato salad (which I notice is closing in two hours). I’m still slightly kicking myself that we didn’t pledge for this one

 

But hey, while I’ve been writing this post the sun has come out so it’s not all bad!

Hope the sun is shining where you are, if it isn’t I hope you’ve got everything you need for a blanket fort.

 

{How to} Make a felted rose

Video

So in the same week that I wrote my first guest post I find myself posting my first video tutorial. It’s not perfect but I’m really pleased with it.  I couldn’t wait to finish typing up the instructions to go alongside these photos before posting my video but they are on their way very soon.

Click here to go to youtube:

Rose tutorial24

Now THAT’S how you make felt.

Video

Once again thanks to the internet I find myself saying “OK, this wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but…”  I don’t think I can ever have claimed to make felt until I have a go at this!

Eggs!

I’ve been spinning and spinning the time turner I was given for my birthday but IFaulty time turner can’t manage to create even one extra  hour in my day. Back to elbow grease and self discipline I guess! I’ve been feeling a little flat about all the felt making and social media madness recently, I’ve been working hard and don’t seem to have much to show for it. So today I am focusing on the successes.image

I finished my first round of eggs this morning and I’m pretty pleased with them. These eggs have taken a little longer to hatch than I had hoped but I now have a clutch of about 40 done. Some of these sets will be gifts for family and friends, but I hope to get some on etsy and maybe find one or two fairs to take them to before Easter.

Usually I get all of my tops from World of Wool. Their roving is just gorgeous, lush wingham wool workscolours and great to work with. This time though I used a bag of Merino tops from Wingham Wool Works. A friend recommended them to me as she had used them on a felt making course and I have to agree that they are equally as lovely to felt with and good value too.  I love these pastel shades (not a phrase you can expect from me often), pics of the vivid brighter shades to come when I have finished the next batch.

While we are on the subject of Easter gifts I am also in the process of making thislittle guy as an Easter hunt jackpot prize. Depending how long he takes I might make a few.

unfinished Easter Bunny

A good productive day all round….and that’s not all I’ve done today but you’ll get to see the rest in good time…..